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D&D 5E Can I cast a reaction spell and an action/BA spell on my turn.

auburn2

Adventurer
I know there is a general rule about only casting one spell on a players turn, so you can't use both an action spell and a bonus action spell. Does this apply for reaction spells too?

RAW reaction spells can be cast on your turn if the trigger happens - example you start falling on your turn and cast feather fall or you back out of melee without disengaging and cast shield when the opponent attacks you. These are allowed according to RAW.

What happens if you already used a spell on your turn?For example expanding on the two cases above - I misty step into the air and grapple a flying imp, as we both plummet to the ground can I cast feather fall .... or I cast vampiric touch and then back out of combat and want to use shield to avoid taking a hit.

Is this allowed?
 

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Adamant

Explorer
Actually, the rule is about bonus action spells specifically. If you cast a bonus action spell, the only other spells you can cast on that turn are cantrips with a casting time of 1 action. That means you can actually cast 2 spells on your turn, as long as none of them are a bonus action. Examples are fireball action surge second fireball, shielding an opportunity attack before casting a ranged spell, and counterspelling a counterspell. For your examples, the first uses a bonus action and doesn't work, but the second is fine.
 

The restriction on multiple spells on a turn kicks in when bonus action spells are cast. So as long as you don't cast any spells as a bonus action, there's no specific limit.

Action + reaction? Yes. You can counterspell the attempt to counterspell your own action spell.

Action surge does allow casting two fireballs on the same turn, and still having a reaction to cast absorb elements to resist one of them.

But once you cast a bonus action spell (either because that's how the spell is written or through quickened spell), you may only cast cantrips with a casting time of one action.

So healing word + viscious mockey, but then no reaction spell on your turn. Do note that as soon as someone else goes, it's no longer your turn so the limit stops applying.

Even action surge would only give you two cantrips.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
The rules state that if you cast a spell as a bonus action, the only other spells you can cast can be a cantrip as an action.

This means if you cast a spell as a bonus action, you cannot cast spells as a reaction.

It also means if you quicken a cantrip, you cannot then cast a leveled spell as an action. OTOH, if you quicken a leveled spell, you can cast a cantrip as an action.

It also means you can action surge and cast 2 leveled spells as an action.

This rule is weird enough that often people don't understand it or ignore it.

The common sense version, which I see people play with and believe is the actual rule, is "you cannot cast two leveled spells on a turn". This has the benefit of getting rid of counterspell counterspells (which are pretty ridiculous), makes fighter action surge spellcaster cheese go away, and is generally simpler to adjudicate.
 

Mort

Legend
RAW and RAI - once you cast a bonus action spell on your turn, you are limited to only casting cantrips with a 1 turn casting time. So no, can't cast a reaction on your turn after casting a bonus action spell.

Here's a discussion of it that incorporated the sage advice ruling.
 
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tommybahama

Adventurer
War Caster feat allows an opportunity attack using a one action spell targeting only the creature. I assume that means no fireball even if it would only target that creature.

When a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, rather than making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.
 


Dausuul

Legend
War Caster feat allows an opportunity attack using a one action spell targeting only the creature. I assume that means no fireball even if it would only target that creature.

When a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, rather than making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.
I'm fairly certain you are not supposed to be able to cast fireball with a War Caster opportunity attack, and I would never allow it. However, by a strict reading of RAW, there is a strong case to be made that you can in fact do this:
  • The fireball spell does at one point refer to affected creatures as "targets" ("A target takes 8d6 damage on a failed save").
  • Unlike (for example) the sorcerer's Twinned Spell metamagic, War Caster does not specify that the spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature. It just says the spell must target only the provoking creature.
So, if you want to be a real stickler for rules as written, this works if you position the fireball so it only hits the provoking creature (don't forget that you yourself are a potential target). It isn't even really a balance issue--hitting only one target is generally a poor use of fireball.

The problem is that it makes absolutely no sense that the presence of a goat just standing there 15 feet from the target would prevent you from reaction-casting. For that matter, what if there's an invisible creature you don't even know about? Does your attempt to reaction-cast simply fail? Can you use this to detect invisible foes?

(Edit: Note that most AOE spells do not contain the "target" wording. For example, cone of cold, burning hands, and meteor swarm refer to "creatures" throughout. Fireball is an outlier in this regard. So I would rule that the word "target" is used in error and fireball targets a point in space, making it ineligible.)
 
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Mort

Legend
I'm fairly certain you are not supposed to be able to cast fireball with a War Caster opportunity attack, and I would never allow it. However, by a strict reading of RAW, there is a strong case to be made that you can in fact do this:
  • The fireball spell does at one point refer to affected creatures as "targets" ("A target takes 8d6 damage on a failed save").
  • Unlike (for example) the sorcerer's Twinned Spell metamagic, War Caster does not specify that the spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature. It just says the spell must target only the provoking creature.
So, if you want to be a real stickler for rules as written, this works if you position the fireball so it only hits the provoking creature (don't forget that you yourself are a potential target). It isn't even really a balance issue--hitting only one target is generally a poor use of fireball.

The problem is that it makes absolutely no sense that the presence of a goat just standing there 15 feet from the target would prevent you from reaction-casting. For that matter, what if there's an invisible creature you don't even know about? Does your attempt to reaction-cast simply fail? Can you use this to detect invisible foes?
This one is odd no?

You're not targeting the "target" you're targeting a point in space (with fireball).

Of course the point in space can be the person who triggered Warcaster, so why not?

Still doesn't quite sit right.

No one in my group has Warcaster - so has never come up for me.
 

Dausuul

Legend
This one is odd no?

You're not targeting the "target" you're targeting a point in space (with fireball).
The "target" wording on fireball is pretty obviously an oversight (as I noted in an edit, most AoE spells do not use it). However, there has been no errata, and reading the spell strictly as written, it does target creatures.
 

I know there is a general rule about only casting one spell on a players turn,
As noted above, no, there isn't any such rule. You can cast many spells in a round (for example by multiclassing to fighter and using Action Surge).

The only rule is combining bonus action spells and other spells.

Did you cast a bonus action spell?
Yes: All other spell this round must be cantrips with a casting time of 1 Action. This means no Reaction spells.
No: There are no restrictions on spells.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Fireball says targets instead of creatures because it can damage objects. Most other AoE spells can’t, so they say creatures, but the rules still consider those creatures targets of the spell.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Fireball says targets instead of creatures because it can damage objects. Most other AoE spells can’t, so they say creatures, but the rules still consider those creatures targets of the spell.
I don't think that's quite right. Based on the wording of Fireball, only creatures are targets (and thus take damage from the spell). Fireball can ignite objects, but it never refers to them as targets.

Specifically, the spell only requires "creatures" to make saving throws, and then only deals damage to "targets" that succeeded or failed their saving throw. Objects aren't mentioned until the next paragraph, and then only in the context of ignition, rather than damage.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
In 5e, target is a natural language thing.

Saying something is a target is not how something becomes a target.

A target is something effected by a spell, that is all.

(This isn't 3e or MTG)
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I don't think that's quite right. Based on the wording of Fireball, only creatures are targets (and thus take damage from the spell). Fireball can ignite objects, but it never refers to them as targets.

Specifically, the spell only requires "creatures" to make saving throws, and then only deals damage to "targets" that succeeded or failed their saving throw. Objects aren't mentioned until the next paragraph, and then only in the context of ignition, rather than damage.
Strictly speaking - maybe not. Object damage and destruction isn't up in the players' faces in the PH, it's relegated to the DMG and up for DM consideration when it's important. If the adventurers are exploring some old, dry wooden houses or a delicate ice cavern, a DM is well within their rights to have a fireball inflict damage on the surrounding area. The spell description in the PH is written with the default situation that it won't really matter, save for unattended things that might be combustible.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
In 5e, target is a natural language thing.

Saying something is a target is not how something becomes a target.

A target is something effected by a spell, that is all.

(This isn't 3e or MTG)
While that's sometimes true, it isn't true in every situation and every context. Sometimes the designers use "target" in very specific ways.

Continuing the Fireball example, if you rule that objects are targets because they are affected by the spell, you create a contradiction. This is because, by the spell's text, all targets take full damage if they fail their saving throw, and half damage if they succeed their saving throw. But the language of the spell only permits creatures to make a saving throw, so objects can't succeed or fail, and thus can't take damage, which contradicts the statement in the spell that targets do take damage. Ergo, in the context of Fireball, objects are both affected by the spell and simultaneously can't be targets of the spell.
 

While that's sometimes true, it isn't true in every situation and every context. Sometimes the designers use "target" in very specific ways.

Continuing the Fireball example, if you rule that objects are targets because they are affected by the spell, you create a contradiction. This is because, by the spell's text, all targets take full damage if they fail their saving throw, and half damage if they succeed their saving throw. But the language of the spell only permits creatures to make a saving throw, so objects can't succeed or fail, and thus can't take damage, which contradicts the statement in the spell that targets do take damage. Ergo, in the context of Fireball, objects are both affected by the spell and simultaneously can't be targets of the spell.
I think @NotAYakk 's point is: "target" isn't a defined term in the rules of 5e. It means what it seems to mean in the specific context you're reading it. There's no rule, in any book, that tells you how to figure out the targets of a spell, unless the spell's own description is specific in itself.

So for the fireball example: no rule tells you what a fireball targets. Only what it affects, which isn't quite the same thing. So you can rule it any way you want, and that ruling wouldn't need to apply to any other spell or even other uses of the same spell.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
While that's sometimes true, it isn't true in every situation and every context. Sometimes the designers use "target" in very specific ways.

Continuing the Fireball example, if you rule that objects are targets because they are affected by the spell, you create a contradiction. This is because, by the spell's text, all targets take full damage if they fail their saving throw, and half damage if they succeed their saving throw. But the language of the spell only permits creatures to make a saving throw, so objects can't succeed or fail, and thus can't take damage, which contradicts the statement in the spell that targets do take damage. Ergo, in the context of Fireball, objects are both affected by the spell and simultaneously can't be targets of the spell.
Or, they aren't using formal language there, and the rules about targets and saving throws apply to those targets who get saving throws, and not to targets that don't.

Again, natural language.

Here, they might be using "target" to refer to those who get a saving throw.

But if there is (say) an artificer artillerist cannon, it has saving throws, and it makes more sense to give it one than use the objects rules. Or you could instead have it light on fire if and only if flammable. Either way works. Players would only know which one would happen if their PC experimented in my opinion, or did an arcana check to see if they remembered someone else experimenting similarly.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I don't think that's quite right. Based on the wording of Fireball, only creatures are targets (and thus take damage from the spell). Fireball can ignite objects, but it never refers to them as targets.

Specifically, the spell only requires "creatures" to make saving throws, and then only deals damage to "targets" that succeeded or failed their saving throw. Objects aren't mentioned until the next paragraph, and then only in the context of ignition, rather than damage.
You’re correct, I misremembered the wording of fireball.
 

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